Jewish tradition holds that Rosh Hashanah celebrates the anniversary of the creation of the world (see The Seven Days Of Creation), a day when “God takes stock of all of His Creation,” which of course includes all of humanity. Translated from the Hebrew, Rosh Hashanah means “head of the year” – roshhead, while hashanah means year. Jews believe that God’s judgment on this day determines the course of the coming year.
Rosh Hashanah is a Jewish festival in which most work ceases, just as on the weekly Sabbath. It’s celebrated both in joy and solemnity. During the daily prayer service a ram’s horn, or in the Hebrew, shofar, (see The Shofar) is sounded:
“And The Lord [see Rock Of Ages] said to Moses, “Say to the people of Israel, In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall observe a day of solemn rest, a memorial proclaimed with blast of trumpets, a holy convocation. You shall do no laborious work; and you shall present an offering by fire to The Lord.” (Leviticus 23:23-25 RSV)
The Feast of Trumpets
God does not do things in vain, or without purpose. The Old Testament Holy Days were not just some sort of Divine make-work project to keep the Israelites busy while they were out wandering in the desert (see Wilderness Journey). All of the Old Testament Holy Days (Passover, Days of Unleavened Bread, The Feast of Weeks, The Feast of Trumpets, The Day of Atonement, The Festival of Tabernacles and the Last Day – see Christian Living) were, and continue to be, living symbols of the stages of God’s Plan of Salvation for all humanity. Those events are now in progress, and true Christians are the manifestation of it.
In the Christian world, Rosh Hashanah is known as The Feast Of Trumpets. Many Christians observe this festival for its Christian prophetic application – the Return Of Jesus Christ.
” … and how we need Him to return now”
“Lo! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable nature must put on the imperishable, and this mortal nature must put on immortality.” (1 Corinthians 15:51-53 RSV) (see The Last Day)
This year, Rosh Hashanah 2010 or more commonly known as the Jewish New Year 2010 will be celebrated by Jews on the sunset of September 8, 2010 up to the nightfall of September 10, 2010. This particular Jewish New Year date will represent Jewish Year 5771 in the Gregorian Calendar.
Rosh Hashanah is also characterized by festive meals with challah and auspicious foods such as apples dipped in honey, fish heads, as well as new fruits on the second night o symbolize a sweet new year. Other foods with a symbolic meaning may be served such as cooked tongue or other meat from the head of an animal or fish to symbolize the “head” of the year.
Sounding the shofar